Canadian Copyright: A Citizen's Guide
Laura Murray is an Associate Professor in the English Department of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, and creator of the website www.faircopyright.ca.
Samuel Trosow is an Associate Professor at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. He is jointly appointed in the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Information and Media Studies.
- Federal Court of Appeal
Alberta (Education) v. Access Copyright
2010 FCA 198 (July 23, 2010) (pdf)
- US Federal Court of Appeals
MGE UPS Systems Inc. v. GE Consumer and Industrial Inc.
(5th Cir. July 20, 2010)
- Supreme Court of Canada
Ontario (Public Safety and Security) v.
Criminal Lawyers’ Association
(June 17, 2010)
- Federal Court of Appeal
SOCAN v Bell Canada (May 27, 2010)
(Application for Leave filed Aug. 13, 2010)
Repographic Reproductons (Educational Institutions)
Reasons (June 26, 2009)
- BC Supreme Court
(November 24, 2008)
Canwest Mediaworks v Horizon Publications
- US Federal District Court
(Southern District NY)
Viacom v YouTube (July 2, 2008)
- US Federal District Court
(Eastern District of Virginia)
A.V. v IParadigms (March 11, 2008)
Reproduction of Sound Recordings by Commercial Radio Stations
Reasons (Feb. 29, 2008)
Commentary (Howard Knopf)
WTO (WT/DS285/ARB, Dec. 21, 2007),
Press (NY Times, Register),
Commentary (William Patry, Howard Knopf)
SOCAN Tariff 22.A (1996-2006)
Internet - Online Music Services
Reasons (Oct. 18, 2007)
Private Copying 2008-2009
Reasons (July 19, 2007)
Amazon Apologizes for File Deletions: But is it Enough?
Friday, 24 July 2009
Amazon has issued the following apology
for the file deletion incident(s):
P. Bezos says:
This is an apology for the way we previously handled illegally sold copies of 1984 and other novels on Kindle. Our "solution" to the problem was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles. It is wholly self-inflicted, and we deserve the criticism we've received. We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission.
With deep apology to our customers,
Founder & CEO
While this is a good step, it doesn't really go far enough. . .
Bezos certainly did the right thing by issuing an apology. As Howard Knopf said in a recent posting on excesscopyright "such a quick and unequivocal apology is to be commended. (lessons here to be learned by the RIAA, CRIA, ASCAP, Access Copyright, etc.)" And from the comments posted on the Kindle Community forum it looks like it is resonating with many Kindle users, at least most of those who are posting to the forum.
But the apology does not address the underlying issues that need to be addressed in order for Amazon to really make better decisions going forward. They need to take the further step of removing DRM from their products altogether. Amazon should acknowledge that so long as they retain the technological capacity to monitor and control the units purchased by consumers, there is no effective guarantee against this occurring again in the future.
In response to Amazon's apology, the Free Software Foundation issued a statement welcoming the apology but calling for the removal of DRM:
The FSF and Defective By Design, which on Monday called on activists to post reviews calling attention to the Kindle Swindle's arbitrary deletion of George Orwell ebooks from hundreds of users' devices, welcomed Bezos's apology, but said more must be done to remedy the problems exposed by Amazon's actions.
FSF's executive director Peter Brown explained, "Unfortunately this matter requires more than just changing internal policy. The real issue here is Amazon's use of DRM and proprietary software. They have unacceptable power over users, and actual respect necessitates more than an apology -- it requires abandoning DRM and releasing the Kindle's software as free software."
The deletion of the Orwell ebooks was Amazon's third blatant demonstration of the control its software provides over users. In June, Amazon remotely deleted copies of Ayn Rand books, and prior to that, they disabled Text-to-Speech functionality for select titles -- a move which was a slap in the face to all users and particularly to the visually impaired community.
FSF operations manager John Sullivan added, "Amazon has been a positive example for Defective By Design to point to in the world of DRM-free music. We hope that this controversy will show Amazon that they need to take the same enlightened approach when it comes to ebooks, so Kindle users can be confident that they won't be Swindled again."
All just more evidence that the DMCA was a flawed policy which ended up causing a whole set of unanticipated consequences which are best avoided in Canada... a point that should not be lost in the current round of Copyright Consultations.
I am an Associate Professor at the University of Western Ontario jointly appointed to the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS).
Before coming to Western, I was a law librarian at the Boalt Hall Law Library at the University of California at Berkeley and before that I was in private law practice in California. My doctoral work in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA focused on information policy issues.
I am currently a Network Investigator and Theme Leader with the GRAND NCE and also serve on the Librarians Committee of the Canadian Association of University Teachers.
Western's Open Access Portal